Enjoy the following link from the Choir of Nashotah House Theological Seminary.
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Below are the familiar words to this beloved hymn and a brief excerpt from Saint Ambrose’s life.
Come, Thou Redeemer of the earth,
And manifest Thy virgin birth:
Let every age adoring fall;
Such birth befits the God of all.
Begotten of no human will,
But of the Spirit, Thou art still
The Word of God in flesh arrayed,
The promised Fruit to man displayed.
Through the door of his chamber, wide open the day, and crossed unannounced by all, of whatever estate, who had any sort of business with him, we catch a clear glimpse of Ambrose’s daily life. In the throng of his visitors, the high official who seeks his advice upon some weighty matter is elbowed by some anxious questioner who wishes to have his doubts removed, or some repentant sinner who comes to make a secret confession of his offenses, certain that the Saint “would reveal his sins to none but God alone” (Paulinus, Vita, xxxix).
The virgin womb that burden gained
With virgin honor all unstained;
The banners there of virtue glow;
God in His temple dwells below.
Forth from His chamber goeth He,
That royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one,
Rejoicing now His course to run.
Daily, Ambrose offered the Eucharist for his people. His sermons, as was to be expected, were intensely practical, replete with rules of conduct which have remained as household words among Christians. In his method of biblical interpretation all the personages of Holy Writ, from Adam down, stand out before the people as living beings, bearing each his distinct message from God for the instruction of the present generation. He did not write his sermons, but spoke them from the abundance of his heart; and from notes taken during their delivery he compiled almost all the treatises of his that are extant.
From God the Father He proceeds, To God the Father back He speeds; His course He runs to death and hell, Returning on God’s throne to dwell. O equal to the Father, Thou!
Gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.
Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness breathe a newer light,
Where endless faith shall shine serene,
And twilight never intervene.
All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete.
copy adapted from:
Loughlin, James. “St. Ambrose.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 17 Dec. 2013 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01383c.htm>.
“Come, Thou Redeemer of the Earth,” Hymnal, 1982.